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Shah to carry on special sits style

Sanjeev Shah’s appointment to replace Anthony Bolton on Fidelity’s flagship £3.2bn UK special situations fund has been broadly welcomed by advisers.

Shah will give up managing the £1.9bn European aggressive fund next month before a sabbatical in the summer and taking over special sits in January 2008 after a four-month transition period.

Many IFAs have long viewed Shah as the most likely internal candidate to replace Bolton when he steps down after 27 years running the fund.

The move contrasts with Fidelity’s decision to hand global special sits to relative unknown Jorma Korhonen.

Bolton, who is to take on a full-time role on investment and product strategy, says Shah was top of a short list of three or four internal candidates.

Bolton says: “His track record shows he has proved himself but he also has a similar style to mine in that he is a bottom-up stockpicker and a contrarian, which is the heart of my own style.”

Shah, who also takes over the running of the £400m Fidelity special values investment trust in January, joined Fidelity as an analyst in 1996. He took on the £288m UK aggressive fund in October 2002, recording top-quartile performance over three years before taking over European aggressive in 2005. Over the last year, the Euro fund is fourth quartile. The new manager will be Mario Frontini.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “We will keep the fund on hold pending the transition from Anthony to Sanjeev. He has an impressive track record and it is important that he has a similar style to Anthony. It is a comfortable hold and we will look at it once Sanjeev starts to reduce the stocks into his type of range.”

Torquil Clark investment director Philippa Gee says: “Sanjeev has established a good reputation and while there are similarities in the way he runs money to Anthony, he does not fall into the trap of being a clone, which would have been a worry.”

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